Our Kind: Who We Are, Where We Came From, Where We Are Going

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9780060157760: Our Kind: Who We Are, Where We Came From, Where We Are Going

Drawing on thirty years of anthropological research, an anthropologist discusses the origins of humankind and of human social institutions and speculates on their future

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From Publishers Weekly:

Pondering infanticide, cultural anthropologist Harris ( Cannibals and Kings ) suggests that humans have no innate predisposition to nurture, protect and rear their offspring. On the other hand, he claims that our genetically determined need for love and emotional support underlies couples' desire for children as well as ambitious leaders' thirst for prestige. Cultural materialism, as applied by Harris, is a malleable explanatory tool that occasionally leads to simplistic theorizing, but more often results in brilliant, provocative insights. His range of topics includes our hominid ancestry, ties between sexism and warfare, dietary preferences, the worldwide sugar binge, incest avoidance, humans' addiction to orgasm, racism, the taboo on cannibalism, the animistic roots of religion and much else. The virtue of this encyclopedic, consistently engaging survey of human evolution and culture is its weavng of fact, research and speculation into a grand vision mapping the transformation from hunter-gatherer bands to villages, chiefdoms and nation-states. 35,000 first printing; Literary Guild alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Our Kind (meaning the human species), another of anthropologist Harris's popularizing works, is a compendium of short essays (or musings) on an incredibly wide range of topics from fossil humans to yuppies. The book, which begins, "IN THE BEGINNING was the foot," is written in a chatty, urbane style. Harris fears that we too easily are learning to live with the threat of nuclear annihilation and that we will not survive even the near future " . . . unless we transcend the state's insatiable demands for sovereignty and hegemony." He also warns that "we must rid ourselves of the notion that we are an innately aggressive species for whom war is inevitable." Unless Harris meant to write a reminiscence of aspects of human existence, he might have made these remarks more effectively in a less eclectic work. Serious readers will find the right-up-to-date bibliography useful. For public libraries with an audience for Harris's works.
- Joan W. Gartland, Detroit P.L.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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